Petr Murmylyuk, a.k.a. Dmitry Tokar, who we’ve written about before for engaging in a conspiracy to defraud customers of online stock trading websites as well as setting up a fraudulent employment website to scam the IRS of phony tax returns, has pleaded guilty to a new round of charges.
Murmylyuk stole a cool million by hacking retail brokerage accounts, plagiarizing customers’ identities, and executing sham trades, prosecutors say. A press release put out by the US District Attorney’s office says that Murmylyuk has now pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He previously pleaded guilty to charges of identity theft and tax fraud.
Previously we had written about Murmylyuk’s initial indictment on the charges listed above, as well as the phony tax return scheme. The U.S. District Attorney’s office described what Murmylyuk admitted to as well as the extent of his crimes:
Murmylyuk admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to steal from online trading accounts at Scottrade, E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab and other brokerage firms. Members of the conspiracy first gained unauthorized access to the online accounts of brokerage firm customers. The conspirators then used stolen identities to open additional accounts – referred to in the Information as “Profit Accounts” – at other brokerage houses. They then caused the victims’ accounts to make unprofitable and illogical securities trades with the Profit Accounts, leading to losses in the victims’ accounts and gains in the Profit Accounts. One version of the fraud involved causing the victims’ accounts to sell options contracts to the Profit Accounts, then to purchase the same contracts back minutes later for many times the price.
The members of the conspiracy recruited foreign nationals visiting, studying, and living in the United States to open bank accounts into which illegal proceeds could be deposited. The conspirators then caused the proceeds of the sham trades to be transferred from the Profit Accounts into those accounts, where the stolen money could be withdrawn. The scheme caused combined losses to Scottrade, E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab and other affected brokerage firms of approximately $1 million.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 12, where Murmylyuk could face the maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.